Eastern baseball team staying busy on off days


Sean Hastings

Senior Andrew Curran throws the ball over to first to get the Tennessee Tech runner. Eastern had its Tuesday game against Illinois State rained out.

Adam Shay, Baseball Reporter

The Panther baseball team has been left with multiple days off as a result of late March and early April showers.

Baseball players usually do not have off days due to single weekday games, or weekend series that last from Thursday to Saturday, or like last weekend, Friday to Sunday. The constant practices on those scheduled off days are what the players are used to.

On days when a game is canceled due to snow, players are given the rare chance to choose how to spend their off days. Some may play Fortnite, some may use their free time to practice, but days like Tuesday give players a chance to focus on themselves.

“Off days are mainly for recovery, school work or doing some other hobby to give the mind a break from baseball,” said senior pitcher Michael Starcevich. “But, it’s also a good day to improve on something specific that you need to work on in preparation for the next games.”

For Starcevich, he said he enjoys shooting hoops and hanging out with his teammates. 

Also, when he is with the guys, aside from physical activity, they will stay in and watch a movie or T.V. series, such as the series WACO.

However, a true day off with no baseball is not happening for the Panthers. Coming off being swept by Tennessee Tech last weekend, the Panthers were hungry to get back to work and have practice Tuesday night from 6:30-9:30 p.m. 

Baseball is a long season, given that injuries will happen between mid-February to mid-May. Rest is essential for players, but even if there is not a scheduled practice, players like junior pitcher Carson Haws still log in their own personal practices.

“We have practice tonight, but when we get days off, I usually spend it taking care of my body and resting,” Haws said. “I’ll play light catch or get a light lift in if I’m feeling good. It’s basically a day for recovery.”

To take care of his body, Haws goes for treatment in the training room, working on sore areas with stim, pads that send electricity through muscles, causing them to contract and relax. Once that is finished, Haws ices, stretches and returns home to catch up on homework and relax.

As for redshirt junior catcher Josh Turnock, his focus is catching up on end of the semester papers and projects. Once that is finished, Turnock said it is always a good idea to get in with the athletic trainer if there is anything bothering him physically.

Regardless of having practices, off days, or games, it is rare for baseball players to be separated from one another. One thing is for certain though, the Panther baseball team is as close to family as it gets. 

“The teammates hang out all the time,” Starcevich said. “All of us are really close and rarely do things without each other.”

The Panthers’ next series will take place at Camp Girardeau, Missouri, against Southeast Missouri in an OVC battle.

Adam Shay can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]